Are New Hampshire Democrats encouraging out-of-state residents to commit voter fraud, telling nonresidents they can vote in New Hampshire and remain nonresidents? No, that's not true. Some ultra-conservatives got upset after a Democratic activist tweeted that college students "ARE ELIGIBLE" to vote in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary if they are 18 or older and "domiciled" in the Granite State.
Although some people got upset by the tweet, what she stated is true, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State's guide on "how to register to vote."
The claim originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by Granite Grok on February 10, 2020, under the title "N.H. Democrats Lying - Telling Nonresidents They Can Vote In N.H. and Remain Nonresidents". It opened:
This is a LIE.
The article was published by Granite Grok, which describes itself as "We ARE your feared: Fire-breathing, extremist, right-wing, hard-charging, gun-toting, camera using, opinionated, outspoken, rabble-rousing, Letter-writing, radio microphone stomping, buying ink electrons by the barrel Conservatives and Rational Libertarians!"
The blog took issue with this tweet and jumped on it as proof Democrats want voter fraud in Tuesday's primary:
College students ARE ELIGIBLE to vote in NH. If you are 18 or older, a U.S. citizen and domiciled in New Hampshire, you can vote in tomorrow's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. More info here: https://t.co/S9xGu5fRD2 #studentvote #nhpolitics #fitn https://t.co/s4WR3MSYUk-- Cinde Warmington for Executive Council (@cindewarmington) February 10, 2020
The tweet drew some angry responses.
What a disaster this woman is! @NH_DOJ @NHSecretary @parscale @POTUSPress-- 🅜🅡🅢 🅡🅔🅓 NOT Guilty. ACQUITTED (@MRSRedVoteR) February 10, 2020
Here is the Dear New Hampshire Voter Letter
and also a letter setting Hanover Town Clerk straight.
6o days from the time you register, declaring yourself a NH Resident pic.twitter.com/0jju1UmOg8
The New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office provides clear answers. It says:
To be eligible to register and vote in New Hampshire a person must be:
• 18 years of age or older on election day;
• A United States citizen; and
• Domiciled1 in the town or ward where the person seeks to vote.
The office goes on to say that, to register to vote, one must provide proof of "your identity, age, citizenship, and domicile. Proof can be either by documents or if you do not have documents with you, by affidavit. Documents may be presented in paper or electronic form."
The office adds:
• A driver's license or non-driver ID from any state satisfies proof of identity and age.
• A birth certificate, U.S. Passport/Passcard, or naturalization document satisfies proof of citizenship.
If you do not have these, you can prove your identity, age, and/or citizenship, by signing a Qualified Voter Affidavit, under oath, in front of an election official. You will also need to prove that you are domiciled in the town or ward where you intend to vote. Proof can be either by documents or if you do not have documents with you, by affiavit. The law requires a document that 'manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social, and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic selfgovernment.'
For college students, the Secretary of State's Office says this about documentation requirements to vote:
A document from the school that you attend, showing that you live in campus housing. A document issued by the school that has your name and the address where you live satisfies the requirement. Many colleges and universities provide students with satisfactory documents already. Students may also use a smart phone or other electronic device to show the election official a page from the college or university's official student electronic records web site, which lists the student's dorm assignment or off-campus residence address. Some universities have established an on-line web page resource specifically for this purpose. Consult your school officials if you are unsure how to find and display this information from your school's system.
The office ends with:
"If you have documents to establish your qualifications, please bring them when you register. If you do not have documents or forget to bring them:
• YOU WILL BE ABLE TO REGISTER TO VOTE;
• YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VOTE; and
• YOU WILL USE A REGULAR ELECTION DAY BALLOT THAT IS COUNTED ON ELECTION DAY."
So, what is a domicile? The Secretary of State's Office provides these explanations, among many:
• "The fundamental idea of domicile is home." Felker v. Henderson, 78 N.H. 509, 511 (1917).
• "An inhabitant's domicile for voting purposes is that one place where a person, more than any other place, has established a physical presence and manifests an intent to maintain a single continuous presence for domestic, social, and civil purposes relevant to participating in democratic self-government. A person has the right to change domicile at any time, however a mere intention to change domicile in the future does not, of itself, terminate an established domicile before the person actually moves."
• "A student of any institution of learning may lawfully claim domicile for voting purposes in the New Hampshire town or city in which he or she lives while attending such institution of learning if such student's claim of domicile otherwise meets the requirements of RSA 654:1, I."
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